July 27, 2022

In The News: CDC Issues Parechovirus Warning – Here’s What PeV Can Look Like in Infants

Health covers a recent CDC announcement on circulating parechovirus type 3 (PeV-A3) in multiple states. The advisory directed medical professionals to watch for the disease while treating 12-month-old babies who may be showing signs of the possibly life-threatening illness. Though the disease regularly circulates in the summer and fall, the increased presence of the PeV-A3 type that causes more severe disease is the reason for concern.

Most children are believed to have been exposed to the virus by the time they enter kindergarten. In children 2-years of age and up, symptoms tend to be mild-runny nose, cough, possible diarrhea. However, infants 3-months and under face much tougher outcomes with the virus possibly creating a punishing inflammatory response affecting major organs and systems.

There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment, though diagnostic testing and preventative strategies remain the most effective means of mitigating the spread of the potentially severe disease. With this advisory, parents and providers are advised to monitor infants for signs of severe illness.

Several PIDS members appear in the story. Ian Michelow commented on the CDC advisory, saying, “There are fluctuations from year to year with these particular viruses and other viruses, so it may just be now that we are seeing a natural fluctuation and more frequent cases because it happens to be a year with more of these types of viruses.” Kristin Moffitt added on testing, “It’s just in the last few years that availability of especially PCR-based testing, or it’s also called molecular testing, has really expanded our ability to diagnose the pathogenic cause of these infections.” Claire Bocchini also contributed.  

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